John & Victoria had a super interesting Ritz Carlton Philadelphia wedding. They wanted to keep things intimate and small but at the same time wanted to have a celebration. In the end they decided to have a small ceremony at their home church Friday night followed by an epic party at the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia Saturday. That doesn’t show in the photos below because if you don’t read this it would be fairly confusing. Since most folks don’t read the introductions I decided to make it flow a bit more like one wedding day.
My favorite photo from John & Victoria’s Ritz Carlton Philadelphia Wedding
My favorite photo from John & Victoria’s Ritz Carlton Philadelphia wedding was a super tough call. We definitely did some epic portraits in the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia and around City Hall Philadelphia. But in the end portraits don’t tell a story on their own. They are beautiful and epic, but in a different way then the photographs of candid and genuine moments. When you get down to the moments John and Victoria shared on their wedding day, there were so many amazing ones. In the end I will selfishly choose one for John and myself. It’s ok to give some Groom love every now and then!
When I arrived Saturday for their Ritz Carlton Philadelphia wedding I started coverage with John. John’s best friend Frank was there and the two of them were just having a super chill morning. Both of them kept mentioning how they were huge Philly sports fans, right up my alley, and thus William Penn’s statue and the view came up a lot that morning. So as John was talking to Frank I found the perfect composition where John was framed in one window and William Penn in the other.
This is where I pride myself in my work. I harp to everyone I teach that when you have a great composition you need to stay with it until the moment is completely over. Wether the moment lasts 30 seconds or 15 minutes. If it is a good composition and good potential moment, don’t leave it! The worse thing to do in that scenario is to take a photo and leave thinking you have a great photo. You’re probably leaving a better photo on the table. A potentially epic photo that your clients had no idea you captured because it is truly genuine and real!
In this moment, I had the photo and then John start telling Frank a story. I kept the composition and stayed where I was as John continued with the story. All of the sudden John became very animated about the story until he randomly started mimicking William Penn exactly. At that point I took another photo, a better photo.
I don’t ever like to interject into the day. I always let the day happen and come to me. I’m not there to direct, I’m there to document. I think that shows beautifully in Victoria’s getting ready set of photos. That when you are a photojournalistic wedding photographer you behave like a photojournalist is supposed to. In return you are often rewarded with better photos than could have ever been staged or the popular “faked candids”. The best part, the photographs are real and genuine that tell a story of the actual wedding day that you can deliver to your couples!
John and Victoria’s nephew was having the time of his life. Right up to the point where he found out he had to wear a bowtie. Needless to say bowtie’s aren’t for everyone.
I love these photos. Every groom toys with his ring immediately after the ceremony. For most Grooms this is the first ring they have worn so it immediately feels funny. I love capturing them figuring it out. It’s how I like to photograph my ring photos. In a real way that incorporates the detail into the day!
Another favorite photograph from John and Victoria’s Ritz Carlton Philadelphia Wedding. This young man was performing to save money for studio time. John donated some money towards his cause and in return he serenaded John and Victoria. It was awesome! There is a bright future ahead for this gentlemen!
I loved taking this photo. John’s one photo request was to take a photo based on a Goodfella’s movie poster. This was pretty late into the reception at the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia so we had to light it on the fly. Have yet to have another photographer figure out how we did this in a matter of seconds.